Let’s explore how your healthy habits boost your productivity, but before we do that, we need to revisit last week’s topic on habits just for a refresh, but more on the topic of why we, me and you, keep going back or backsliding to old habits.
I want you to think about this for a moment and ask yourself has there been a time when you have wanted to change a bad habit but no matter how hard you try to change that old, bad habit or habits, you always seem to go back to them? Well ladies you are definitely not alone. There are actually scientific reasons for this, and by understanding this behavior pattern, you will be on your way to putting an end to it, so let’s get into that first, shall we?
1) You Never Fully Committed to Your New Habits
A very common reason for quitting new habits and going back to the old ones is that you never actually committed to the habit change. This can be from either jumping into habits without thinking enough about them beforehand, or just not being 100% sold on them. Make sure you know why you chose the habits you did and find a way to commit to them fully.
2) There are Enablers in Your Life
Enablers often mean well and just don’t understand why you want to change your bad habits, but it is still important to keep an eye out for them. Enablers rarely do it to hurt you or to keep you from living a healthy lifestyle, but often because they don’t know better. If someone in your life is keeping you from your goals or going back to old habits, just be honest with them.
Don’t forget you can be your own enabler by making excuses! Keep an eye out for that as well.
3) Old Habits Feel Comfortable and Familiar
Your old habits were habits in the first place because they provided something for you, whether it was comfort or a feeling of security when you got anxious. When you ditch these habits, even though it is best for your health and wellness, it can feel unsafe.
Maybe you have been an emotional eater where junk food is the way you cope with difficult emotions in your life. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can lead to your old habits and keep you from living a healthy lifestyle if you aren’t careful.
4) You Changed Your Habits for the Wrong Reasons
Finally, consider the habits you changed and WHY you decided to change them. If you were just trying to complete a short-term goal, then you probably won’t keep up with those habits once that goal has been achieved. Think about it long-term and really consider why you chose those new healthy habits in the first place. Revisit these reasons every time you feel tempted to go back to old habits.
Developing healthy habits isn’t just for your physical and mental health ladies, but also for getting more done each day. These habits help you live your life more effectively, from your morning and nighttime routines, to your physical activity, to how you eat, including your free time for fun or self-care. If you want to boost your productivity, the first step is to change your habits. Let’s see how this plays out.
1) You Don’t Have to Think About Them While Trying to Work
One way that having healthy habits can help you with your productivity is through the act of building the habits in the first place. When you add new activities to your routine, you tend to focus on them quite a bit. But once they become habits, you do them automatically without having to think about them. As this happens and you become more familiar with them, you run on autopilot, so more of your mental energy can then be spent on your work.
2) With Habits, Come a Regular Daily Routine
Another reason healthy habits can improve your productivity and focus is because everything in your life becomes part of your routine, including your work and other tasks you want to get done. The healthier habits you have in your routine, the more it will become a habit you don’t have to think too much about. This is the magic in your routine, and what is going to take you from struggling to get through your to-do lists to actually getting more done and even having more free time.
3) Exercising Regularly Gives You More Energy
One healthy habit that is wonderful for your productivity is exercising on a regular basis. Exercise helps boost your productivity by giving you more energy throughout the day, especially if you choose to work out earlier in the day. It can also be good at creating a schedule with more healthy habits during your day, which also helps you to be more productive.
4) Eating Healthier Improves Sleep and More
If you add eating healthier to your list of healthy habits, then that is going to lead to better sleep for you, which in turn can also help you be more productive during the day. Eating healthier helps to balance out your stress hormones and this in turn helps you to have better sleep. Healthier eating can be a struggle for some to start, which is why you should just make small changes to your nutrition, gradually over time.
Now let’s take a look at one of the 5 foundational pieces needed for overall good health and that would be exercise. But some of you like me may have back slide here and are wondering how do you get back into exercise after taking a break? Great question so let’s take a look.
Exercise seems easy when you are in a good flow and have been working out regularly over an extended period of time. But when you take a break like with COVID-like I did or due to illness or a hectic schedule, it can be hard to get back into it. Luckily, ladies I have some easy tips for you!
1) Take it Slow and Simple
Any time you are starting a new workout routine, whether it is a new form of exercise or because you haven’t worked out in a while, you should always take it slow. This goes for everyone, whether you used to do 3 workouts a week or were a trained athlete. Your body needs time to adjust and get back into regular workouts.
Start with lower impact workouts a few days a week, then gradually work your way up to longer workouts, more intense ones, and more days of the week.
2) Increase Activity Through NEAT
Another great option is to think less of scheduled workouts, and more about other forms of activities. This refers to NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT includes all activities that require you to move any part of your body but aren’t considered “exercise”. For example, walking from your living room to your kitchen isn’t really considered going for a walk, but it is still NEAT. The same goes for fidgeting, standing to cook, playing with your dogs, and so many other activities during the day.
3) Take More Rest Days When Needed
If you’re just getting back into the swing of exercising again, you will probably need more rest days than you might have when you were consistent with your workouts. Embrace these and give your body and muscles the rest it needs! This might mean a rest day every other day, or at the very least, taking the weekend off. Don’t jump right in to 6 workouts a week just because that is what you used to do.
4) Track Your Progress and Set Goals
Lastly, set some small goals to achieve and track your progress. Again, be realistic with these fitness and health goals, remembering that you haven’t exercised in a while. The first goal might be just to move your body 3 days a week, 30 minutes a day. Then you can set more specific goals like being able to hold a plank for 30 seconds, adding in 1-2 days of weight training, doing a pull-up, or being able to do a full push-up.
Everything in your life ladies should have a healthy balance, from what you eat to your workouts and how much sleep you get. The best part about this is that when you improve one area of your health, other areas tend to follow. This is known as compound habits. Small habits done daily add up to great compounded assets down the and therefore are worth doing today.